Molecular Electronics: An Opportunity for a Biotecnical Synergism

  • Forrest L. Carter


The scientific, technological, and humanitarian opportunities inherent in the strong interaction between molecular biology (and biochemistry) and the developing new field of molecular electronics are unusually abundant and stimulating. It is an object of this paper to discuss a sampling of these opportunities and to indicate their importance, which in some cases, are revolutionary in scope.


Cellular Automaton Visual Data Molecular Electronic Molecular Wire Soliton Propagation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    a. F. L. Carter, “Problems and Prospects of Future Electroactive Polymers and ‘Molecular’ Electronic Devices,” in the NRL Program on Electroactive Polymers, First Annual Report, Ed. L.D. Lockhart, Jr., NRL Memorandum Report 3960, p. 121 (1979)Google Scholar
  2. “Further Considerations on ‘Molecular’ Electronic Devices,” Second Annual Report, Ed. R.B. Fox, NRL Memorandum Report 4335, p. 35 (1980).Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    A. Aviram and M.A. Ratner, Chem. Phys. Letters, 29, 277 (1974).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 3.
    a. F.L. Carter, Ed., “Proceedings of the Molecular Electronic Device Workshop,” held 23–24 March 1981, NRL, Washington, DC, NRL Memorandum Report 4662, October 1981; also as “Molecular Electronic Devices,” published by Marcel Dekker, N.Y., N.Y., Dec. 1982; b. 2nd International Workshop on Molecular Electronic Devices held 13–15 April 1983, NRL, Washington, DC, Marcel Dekker, Inc., in press.Google Scholar
  5. 4.
    F.L. Carter, “The Chemistry in Future Computers,” in Computer Applications in Chemistry. Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Computers in Chemical Research and Education,” Eds. S.R. Heller-and R. Potenzone, Jr., Elsevier Scientific Publishing Co., Amsterdam (1983).Google Scholar
  6. 5.
    K. M. Ulmer, “Biological Assembly of Molecular Ultracircuits,” in Ref. 3a.Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    F.L. Carter, “Molecular Level Fabrication Techniques and Molecular Electronic Devices,” plenary address at the 1983 International Symposium on Electron, Ion, and Photon Beams, held 31 May-3 June 1983, Los Angeles, CA, J. Vac. Sci. and Tech., in press.Google Scholar
  8. 7.
    J.W. Milliken, “Metallic Covalent Polymers: Derivatives of (SN) x and (CH)x,” Chemistry, Ph.D. Dissertation, Univ. of Pa., 1980.Google Scholar
  9. 8.
    F.L. Carter, “Conformational Switching at the Molecular Level,” in Ref. 3 a, p. 51.Google Scholar
  10. 9.
    F.L. Carter, “Electron Tunnelling in Short Periodic Arrays,” in Ref. 2a, p. 344; and NRL Memorandum 4717.Google Scholar
  11. 10.
    E.A. Pschenichnov, Soviet Physics - Solid State, 4,, 819 (1962).MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  12. 11.
    J.R. Barker, “Quantum Ballistic Transport and Tunnelling in Molecular Scale Devices,” in Ref. 3b.Google Scholar
  13. 12.
    S. W. Kirchoefer, R. Magno, K. L. Davis, R. L. Schmidt, and J. Comas, “Resonant Tunnelling in Molecular Beam Epitaxially-Grown Semiconductor Structures,” in Ref. 3b.Google Scholar
  14. 13.
    F.L. Carter, “Studies of Tunnelling in Short Periodic Arrays,” in Ref. 3b.Google Scholar
  15. 14.
    P. M. Kuznesof, K.J. Wynne, R. S. Nohr and M. E. Kenney, J.C.S. Chem. Comm. 121 (1980)Google Scholar
  16. R. S. Nohr, P. M. Kuznesof, K.J. Wynne, and M. R. Kenney, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 103, 4371 (1981).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 15.
    K.M. Ulmer, Science, 219, 666 (1983).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 16.
    K.M. Ulmer, “Self-Organizing Protein Monolayers as Substrates for Molecular Device Fabrication,” in Ref. 3b.Google Scholar
  19. 17.
    L. Salem in “Excited States in Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry,” Eds. B. Pullman and N. Goldblum, D. Reidel Publishing Co., Dordrecht, Holland, 1977, p. 163.Google Scholar
  20. 18.
    W. G. Dauben and J.S. Rit scher, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 92, E 2925 (1970).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 19.
    B. Honig, “Theoretical Aspects of Photoisomerization in Visual Pigments and Bacteriorhodopsin in Biological Events Probed by Ultraf ast Laser Spectroscopy,” Ed. R. R. Alfano, Academic NY, NY, 1982, p. 281; “Visual Pigments: A New Type of Molecular Switching Device,” in Ref. 2 a, p. 137Google Scholar
  22. B. Honig and T.G. Ebrey, Methods Enzymology, 88462 (1982).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 20.
    W.P. Su, “Nonlinear Excitations in Polyacetylene,” this conference; W. P. Su, J.R. Schrieffer and A.J. Heeger, Phys. Rev. Lett., 42, 1698, (1979): Phys. Rev. B222099 (1980).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 21.
    T.W. Barrett, “Soliton Propagation in One-Dimensional Organic Conductors,” this conference.Google Scholar
  25. 22.
    A. C. Scott, “Solitons and Bioenergetics,” this conference; also A. C. Scott, F.Y.F. Chu, and D. W. McLaughlin, Proc. IEEE, 61, 1443 (1973).Google Scholar
  26. 23.
    A.R. Bishop, “Solitons in Biological and Synthetic Polymers: Some Comparisons and Contrasts,” this conference; also D. Campbell and A. R. Bishop, Phys. Rev. B24, 4859, (1981); Nuclear Phys., B200(FS4), 297 (1982).Google Scholar
  27. 24.
    D.W. McLaughlin, “Solitary Waves as Fixed Points of Infinite Dimensional Maps,” this conference.Google Scholar
  28. 25.
    F.L. Carter, “Solitons and SP3 Defects in Trans-Polyacetylene,” in Polymers Electroactifs, Eds. P. Bernier, and B. Payet, CNRS, at Ecole d’Hiver, Font-Romeu, Jan. 1982, Vol. 1, p. 146.Google Scholar
  29. 26.
    F. L. Carter, “Toward Computing at the Molecular Level,” in Microelectronics-Structure and Complexity, Ed. Raymond Dingle, Plenum Press, NY, 1983, in press.Google Scholar
  30. 27.
    C. A. Taylor, M. A. El-Bayoumi, and M. Kasha, Proc. Nat’l. Acad. Sci. U.S., 63, 253 (1969).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 28.
    K.B. Eisenthal, K. Gnadig, W. Hetherington, M. Crawford, and R. Micheels, “Picosecond Laser Studies of Electron-Hole Interactions and Double Proton Transfer,” in Picosecond Phenomena, Proc. of First International Conference on Picosecond Phenomena, Eds., C. V. Shank, E.P. Ippen, and S.L. Shapiro, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, 1978, p. 34.Google Scholar
  32. 29.
    R.R. Birge, “Molecular Dynamics of the Proton Pumping Photocycle in Light-Adapted Bacteriorhodopsin,” this conference.Google Scholar
  33. 30.
    F.L. Carter, “The Molecular Device Computer: The Point of Departure for Large Scale Cellular Automata,” presented at the Workshop on Cellular Automata, CNLS, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, N.M., 7–11 March 1983, Physica D, in press.Google Scholar
  34. 31.
    F.L. Carter, “Soliton Switching and Its Implications for Molecular Electronics,” in Ref. 3b.Google Scholar
  35. 32.
    S. Wolfram, “Statistical Mechanics of Cellular Automata,” Rev. Mod. Phys., July 1983, in press.Google Scholar
  36. 33.
    M. P. Groves, “Dynamic Circuit Diagrams for Some Soliton Switching Devices,” in Ref. 3b.Google Scholar
  37. 34.
    J.N. Varghese, W. G. Laver, and P.M. Colman, Nature, 303 – 35 (1983).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 35.
    G. Baumann, G. Easton, S. Quint, and R. Johnson, “Molecular Switching in Neuronal Membranes,” in Ref. 3b.Google Scholar
  39. 36.
    H. Kuhn, a. Thin Sol id Films, 99, 1 (1983), b. “Self-Organizing Molecular Electronic Devices,” in Ref. 3b.Google Scholar
  40. 37.
    J. Jonata and R.J. Huber, “Chemically Sensitive Field Effect Transistors,” in Ion-Selective Electrodes in Analytical Chemistry, Vol. 2, Ed. H. Freiser, Plenum Press, NY (1980), p. 107.Google Scholar
  41. 38.
    F.L. Carter, “Photoactivated Field Effect Transistor,” Invention Disclosure, Navy Case No. 66, 931, 1982.Google Scholar
  42. 39.
    J.H. McAlear, Gentronix-Lak Inc., private communication, 1981.Google Scholar
  43. 40.
    J.J. Hopfield, Proc. National Acad. Sci., USA, 79, 2554 (1982).MathSciNetADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 41.
    P.E. Rapp, “Reliability in High Density Devices: Possible Lessons from Neural Systems,” in Ref. 3b.Google Scholar
  45. 42.
    B. A. Zempol ich, “Molecular Electronic Devices—A System User’s Perspective of Opportunities and Challenges,” in Ref. 3b.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Forrest L. Carter
    • 1
  1. 1.Chemistry Department, Code 6175Naval Research LaboratoryUSA

Personalised recommendations